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Lord, The Sun’s Down and I’m Still Angry. What Do I Do? —Ephesians 4:26

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ephesians 3:1-5:14

Heavenly Father, I’ve learned a lot about anger this year. There have been some nights when I went to bed angry and as You predicted through the Apostle Paul, anger gave Satan a foothold in my life.

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you. ”Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. –Ephesians 4:26-27

Lord, thankfully I’ve moved past the anger and have learned some great lessons but it would have been much simpler if I would have turned it completely over to You before the sun went down.

Because I allowed anger to marinate, I gave Satan access to my mind. I was miserable. I knew I needed to forgive, yet something was holding me back; or should I say someone.

Lord, I believe You, the God who made me, answered my prayer and showed my how to fight this anger virus I had allowed to corrupt my thinking.

I sensed You saying that aggressive action was required to take back the foothold I had given to Satan.

I’m a person who loves solitude and silence. I can stay in my home for eight hours with no television or music—just silence, and be totally happy. Holy Spirit, I believe You told me that silence wasn’t good for me in this season. These were the instructions you gave me:

No silence allowed! Other than my morning quiet time, I was to have either Christian podcasts, Christian music, or Christian books going in my head every waking moment.

This doesn’t mean that I can only listen to Christian music forever, it means desperate tines call for desperate measures. I had to take back the ground I have given to my enemy. It was war but You taught me how to fight differently.

We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. –1 Corinthians 10:3-5

Jesus, I definitely had strongholds of human reasoning, false arguments, and rebellious thoughts. Saturating my mind with Your Word was re-teaching me to hear, obey, and submit to You. The second part of this assignment was capturing every thought that fueled the anger and replacing with Your Word.

Lord, I immediately made this change. I’m amazed how quickly the heaviness lifted. In a matter of days I felt the anger and hurt disappear. I am completely free from the anger and very grateful!

The thing I will never forget about this difficult season is the way You stayed so close to me. I know You didn’t approve of my lingering anger but You were with me in an unusual way. I even felt You speak to my spirit, “I understand. I get angry too. You will get through this and I will not leave you.”

Lord, thank You for never abandoning me! Thank You for going ahead of me and leading me through this difficult season.

 

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” —Deuteronomy 31:6

I love You!

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:15-6:24, Colossians 1:1-23

Jesus, How Could You Wash Judas Feet When You Knew He Would Betray You? –John 13:1-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 14:1-2, Matthew 26:1-5, Luke 22:1-2, Mark 14:10-11, Matthew 26:14-16, Luke 22:3-6, Mark 14:12-16, Matthew 26:17-19, Luke 22:7-13, John 13:1-17, Mark 14:17-26, Matthew 26:20-30, Luke 22:14-30, John 13:18-30

Jesus, betrayal is my worst fear.

 

Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.  It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. –John 13:1-2

 

Jesus, You knew Judas was going to betray You, yet You allowed Him the unique privilege of sharing the Last Supper with You.

Lord, did You wash His feet too?

Sounds like it…

 

Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.” After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? –John 13:10-12

 

Lord, You weren’t afraid Judas would betray You, YOU KNEW HE WOULD BETRAY YOU.

 

He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”

Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?”

And Jesus told him, “You have said it.” –Matthew 26:23-25

 

Jesus, You gave Him one last warning and then You washed His feet.

And then he  b-e-t-r-a-y-e-d  You.

 

Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God.  So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. –John 3-5

 

Lord, how did You pick up that towel and wash Judas’ feet?

 

  • You knew who You were
  • You knew who had sent You
  • You knew Your mission
  • You knew who Your were fighting
  • You knew God’s plans were being fulfilled

 

Lord, in my everyday days I “know” these five things but when the scars of betrayal are forced open by current day issues, spiritual discernment and common sense go out the window. I get in crazy-making mode and begin reliving past betrayals similar to the way a soldier relives their times in battle.

Holy Spirit, I prayed and asked You to show me how to have peace when the fear of betrayal overwhelms me. You gave me these verses:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:6-7

If I…

–Don’t worry

–Pray

–Tell You what I need

–Thank You for all You have done

Then I will…

—Experience Your  peace that exceeds my understanding

–You will guard my heart and mind

 

Lord, I give my fear of betrayal to You. Heal my deepest hurts.

Let this be so in my life.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: John 13:31-38, Mark 14:27-31, Matthew 26:31-35, Luke 22:31-38, John 14:1-15:17

Lord, Give Me Your Words of Wisdom—Isaiah 50:4-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 48:12-52:12

Heavenly Father, everywhere I turn I find weary people, people weighted down by the cares of the world. Just yesterday I spoke with a dear friend who found out her husband’s cancer is back with a vengeance. My post 9 Things to Do When You Feel Hopeless has been viewed over 12,000 times. At least once a week I receive desperate comments from people who find this devotion and think because I wrote it I somehow can give them words of encouragement and hope. Lord, I do not have the strength, words, or understanding to comfort anyone. I am weary myself from the challenges in my life.

But…

I stand on this promise:

The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom,
so that I know how to comfort the weary.
Morning by morning he wakens me
and opens my understanding to his will.
The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me,
and I have listened.
I have not rebelled or turned away. —Isaiah 50:4-5

Lord, today’s a new day with new opportunities to comfort and encourage the weary. It’s a great day to share Your comfort and hope with others. Give me Your words. Give me Your wisdom. Open my understanding.

Jesus, give me the strength and wisdom to comfort others as You have comforted me.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. —2 Corinthians 1:3-5

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 52:13-57:21

Lord, Let Me Proclaim Your Power to This New Generation—Psalm 71:18

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 1-2, Psalm 10, Psalm 33, Psalm 71, Psalm 91

Heavenly Father, I don’t consider myself old and gray but I’m definitely closer to old age than youth. I have a passion to see this scripture fulfilled in my life.

Now that I am old and gray,
do not abandon me, O God.
Let me proclaim your power to this new generation,
your mighty miracles to all who come after me. —Psalm 71:18

Lord, many years ago this scripture became the verse that helped me see my purpose. This is the reason I’m on this earth:

To leave a trail for anyone You send into my life that leads them straight to You.

Many people may look at my life and see trials, hardships, and mistakes and think Your power hasn’t been displayed but I know that You and You alone are the reason I have been able to thrive during life’s triumphs and failures.

Jesus, I’m thankful for the level of worldly success You’ve given me but it means nothing if my purpose isn’t fulfilled.

Help me to accomplish my purpose today.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen.

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 92-97

Lord, Thank You For Observant Friends–2 Samuel 14:1

Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 12:26-31; 1 Chronicles 20:2-3; 2 Samuel 13:1-14:33

Heavenly Father, I’m not sure that King David and Joab were friends, but Joab definitely acted like a friend in today’s story.

Joab realized how much the king longed to see Absalom. So he sent for a woman from Tekoa who had a reputation for great wisdom. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning; wear mourning clothes and don’t put on lotions. Act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for a long time.  Then go to the king and tell him the story I am about to tell you.” Then Joab told her what to say.  —2 Samuel 14:1-3

Lord, we all have times in our lives when we need someone to help us get our head on straight.  Sometimes we’re just too close to the situation, we truly “can’t see the forest for the trees.”

Jesus, thank you for using my friends to encourage, challenge, trouble-shoot, counsel and correct.  Lord, help me to be that kind of friend.  Give me the grace and mercy to be a friend that builds others up, always.  Teach me to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) to my friends AND family.

Lord, help me to be a “Joab” kind of friend to someone today!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 15:1-17:14

Who Have You Motivated Today? –Hebrews 10:24

Today’s Scripture Reading: Hebrews 8:1-10:39

We all enjoy being around inspiring people.  I became a motivational classes and workshops believer after my first experience at a Mary Kay meeting, twenty-seven years ago.  In today’s reading, the Lord tells us that we’re to think of ways to motivate one another.

 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.–Hebrews 10:24

Does this surprise you?

Christians are supposed to think of ways to motivate other Christians to acts of love and good works.

Isn’t that the preacher’s job?

When I look around the average church in America, most people walk through the doors like a cement statue, daring the pastor to “move” them. Today’s Christian looks to the church and the pastors to meet their needs and if they don’t, they quickly look for a place that does. It’s quite different from what the writer of Hebrews instructed.

How do we motivate another person?

By inspiring them to take action.

I think there are two ways to do this:

  1. Give inspirational and instructional messages
  2. Live a life that inspires

The greatest leadership principle I’ve ever learned is the importance of leading by example.  Most of us aren’t gifted to inspire with words, but everyone can inspire by example.

If all the world were just like you, would there be acts of love and good works taking place?

Heavenly Father, help us to realize our purpose on this earth is bigger than just having a comfortable life.  Help us to realize other people need us; other people need our example.  Use us for Your Kingdom today.  Fill us so that we can motivate others to acts of love and good works.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Hebrews 11:1-12:29

What Causes Quarrels and Fights?–James 4:1-3

Today’s Scripture Reading:  James 4:1-5:20, 1 Timothy 1:1-2:15

When was the last time you got in an argument or fight with someone?

When was the last time you got mad with someone and either quarreled or did the passive-aggressive thing and gave them the silent treatment?

Was it before you became a Christian, last year, last month, last week, yesterday, or five minutes ago?

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you?

  • Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?
  • You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it.
  •  You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.
  • Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

James 4:1-3

Wow!  

That’s tough to hear, especially when we throw in the fact that James was talking to Christians.  But if you’ve been a Christian more than 30 minutes you know that Jesus saved us because we can’t save ourselves.

The sooner we come to terms with the fact that there’s a war going on inside us, the sooner we’ll be able to recognize jealousy, envy and wrong motives as the “evil desires” James was talking about.

To have those pure motives mentioned in James 4:3, we must learn to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), determine who’s talking–The Holy Spirit, Satan, or your own fleshly desires, and then make a conscious decision to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than our evil desires.

Will we still have quarrels and fights?

Most likely, but if we are open to the teaching and correction of the Holy Spirit within us we will learn from our mistakes and those quarrels and fights will become the exception rather than the norm.

Heavenly Father, help us to have the pure motives You talked about in today’s scripture. Help us to recognize our evil desires and intentionally choose NOT to act on them.  Make us like You Lord.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Timothy 3:1-6:10

Do You Need a Filter For Your Mouth? –Philippians 4:8

Today’s Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:12-4:23

When I was a young mom, one of my favorite things to do during Sunday morning church services was to stop by the nursery, check on my baby, and visit with all the other moms.  We would sat in creaky rockers, feed our babies, and solve the problems of our little world.

While it was great to have some much-needed adult conversation, I often went home feeling guilty.

No matter where the conversation started it always seemed to end up sounding more like gossip or husband-bashing. But the guilt wasn’t enough to keep me from participating in these weekly “problem-solving sessions.” Until one day I had a “God moment.”  I can’t remember if the preacher preached about this particular scripture verse or it just came to mind; all I know is this verse began to churn inside of me.  Since my brain loves check lists I began to see this verse broken down with check boxes beside each phrase:

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is…

  • True 
  • Honorable
  • Right 
  • Pure
  • Lovely 
  • Admirable

Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  —Philippians 4:8

This verse became a filter for my mouth.  If I couldn’t answer yes to the questions is it true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable, then I should be quiet or leave the conversation.  Too many times the only way I could resist was to leave.

But,

As the years moved forward  I kept using my mouth filter and I began to get better. It became easier to be in a group and only contribute positive, uplifting comments to the conversation.

Believe me I still make mistakes, but as soon as I do the Holy Spirit brings my filter to mind and says, “Dianne, was that true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable? Immediately I will feel the need to ask God and the person(s) I was talking with for forgiveness.

Maybe you don’t need a filter for your mouth, but if you do take a minute and commit this verse to memory, it will make all the difference if you struggle with gossip or negativity.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word.  It truly is life-changing.  Holy Spirit, fill me to overflowing with your Spirit. Continuing to mold me into the person You planned for me to be.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: James 1:1-3:18

The Phases of Forgiveness—2 Corinthians 2:5-8

Today’s Scripture Reading:  2 Corinthians 2:5-6:13

“Nana, I’m sorry.”

“Of course I forgive you.”

It’s so easy to forgive my grandkids.

But what about the people in our lives that aren’t so easy to forgive, the people who have deeply hurt or disappointed us?

I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me.  Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough.  Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement.  So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him. —2 Corinthians 2:5-8

Forgive and Comfort?

The last thing I want for my grandchildren is discouragement.  I can’t stand it when their hearts are broken because they’ve disappointed me; so it’s easy to comfort them.

But forgiving and comforting an adult, who should know better, so they won’t be discouraged—WHAT!

I’m the one who needs comforting…

I thought forgiving was hard, but forgiving and comforting…

How is that possible?

There’s only one way… with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Depending on the depth of the hurt it may take a while.  In the past I’ve gotten upset when I couldn’t instantly forgive and forget, but over years I’ve learned that there are phases of forgiveness.

As Paul said, in today’s reading…it’s time to forgive.

Let’s get started:

A phase is a distinct stage of development.  The phases may be different for each person.

Here are the 10 phases of forgiveness I’ve experienced:

Phase 1—I can’t forgive.  I’ve been hurt, I’m angry, I want to hurt back.

Phase 2—I don’t want to forgive. The other person(s) doesn’t deserve to be forgiven.

Phase 3—I should forgive (Matthew 6:14-15, Luke 17:3-4) but it’s so hard—Lord help me!

Phase 4—I’m trying to forgive but I can’t stop thinking about it and talking about it (Luke 6:45).

Phase 5—I have moments of forgiveness, a minute here a second there.

Phase 6—I have periods of forgiveness.  The pain is starting to going away!

Phase 7—I am completely free of the pain of unforgiveness!

Phase 8—I want the person(s) who hurt me to be free of the pain as well.  I don’t want them to be overcome with discouragement (2 Corinthians 2:5-8).

Phase 9—I make an effort comfort and encourage the person(s) who hurt me.  I free them from the responsibility of the pain they caused me (Job 42:10).

Phase 10—I forget the pain (not necessarily the event) the person(s) caused me.

The example from the Bible that comes to mind is Job.  Job was so angry at his three friends for accusing him of sinning against God.  Job worked through the phases of his anger throughout the forty-plus chapters of Job.  In Job 42:10, Job prayed for his “friends” and released them from their responsibility of hurting him and then the Lord made Job prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.

One of the biggest mistakes we make in the area of forgiveness is thinking we can go straight to phase 10.  This is the reason so many people are still living with the pain of the past–they don’t want to work through it, they just want to forget it.  That’s just not possible!

If you allow the Holy Spirit to walk you through each phase of forgiveness you will be truly free from the pain and sincerely want the best for those who’ve hurt you.

What a mighty God we serve!  Only through Him can we forgive and comfort!

Heavenly Father, I pray for my friends who are struggling with unforgiveness today.  Holy Spirit help them walk through each phase of forgiveness until they are truly free from the pain of the past.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  2 Corinthians 6:14-10:18

Can You Tell An “Encouraging” Story? 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

Today’s Scripture Reading: Romans 15:1-16:27; 2 Corinthians 1:1-2:4

We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia (2 Corinthians 1:8).

Not exactly an encouraging and motivational message, unless you hear the whole story.

We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.  In fact, we expected to die. 

But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.  And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.

–2 Corinthians 1:8-10

Here are the highlights of the story:

  • We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure
  • We thought we would never live through it
  • We expected to die

Lessons Learned:

  • We stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God
  • God rescued us from mortal danger
  • God will rescue us again, if needed
  • We have placed our confidence in Him
  • God will continue to rescue us

Paul shows us the proper way to share our stories in today’s scripture reading.

Don’t get me wrong, when we’re in the midst of a trial we need someone with whom we can share the good, the bad and the ugly. You know, kick, scream, throw dirt, pout, etc.

But when we’re sharing to encourage, we need to spend more time sharing about the lessons learned than the trouble itself.

Sharing our lessons learned through life’s hard times is one of our greatest witnessing tools, if we do it in a way that shines the light on the greatness of God and not our problems.

Heavenly Father, fill us with Your Spirit.  Speak through us.  Help us to use our lessons learned through life’s difficult times to point others to Jesus.

In Your Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 2:5-6:13

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